Highway 37 across the top of San Pablo Bay has become one of the toughest commuter-hour slogs in the North Bay. With a bottleneck just east of Sears Point, where the road narrows from two lanes to one, traffic heading toward Vallejo backs by mid-afternoon most weekdays, and many weekend days, leaving hundreds of cars idling in place. The 20-minute ride can take an hour and a half, according to a Caltrans report. Adding to the nuisance — and, at times, causing accidents or incidents of road rage — some drivers tried to jump to the front of the line by moving into the left-turn lane for Sonoma-bound Highway 121 and then forcing their way back into eastbound traffic on Highway 37.
Earlier this month, Caltrans restriped the intersection of Highways 37 and 121 to thwart the practice of queue-jumping. The new alignment should ease some of the frustration with discourteous drivers, but traffic jams will continue until lanes are added on the eastern segment of Highway 37. In the meantime, here’s a thumbs up to Caltrans for trying to make a bad situation a little better.